News >> Browse Articles >> Crime News


D.C. Policeman Accused of Pulling Gun to Quell Snowball Fight

D.C. Policeman Accused of Pulling Gun to Quell Snowball Fight

Two D.C. police officers, on not in uniform, involved in the snowball fight controversy during a winter storm on Saturday. (Screen shot from home video of the incident.)

USA Today via YellowBrix

December 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – A Washington, D.C. plainclothes police officer accused of pulling a gun after his car was pelted during a Twitter-inspired snowball fight in downtown Washington has been placed on desk duty pending an investigation, The Washington Post reports.

Police initially denied any weapon had been displayed until video footage and witnesses indicated otherwise.

The video footage shows that the unidentified officer drew his gun and exchanged angry words with the boisterous crowd after his Hummer was hit by one or two snowballs, the Post said.

The City Paper reports said the police department, after initially denying a weapon was involved, issued a press release saying it had “subsequently received additional images and statements that would seem to support the allegation that the off-duty member did pull a gun” and was now investigating the matter.

The snowball fighters, mostly in their 20s and 30s, organized the “fight” at 14th and U street as a break from a huge snowstorm that had paralyzed the city this weekend.

Related: DC Chief Slams Officer Over Gun at Snowball Fight

The Post says 25-year-old Yousef Ali, a media and technology geek, spent 11 hours using Twitter and other social media to spread the word.

If the final investigation shows the officer pulled his weapon after being pelted with snowballs, D.C. Assistant Chief Pete Newsham, head of the investigative services bureau, said that “would not be a situation in which a member [of the force] would be justified,” The Post reports.

“We have to see what the entire circumstance was,” Newsham said Sunday. “But just a snowball fight, not in my mind. That doesn’t seem a situation where we would pull out a service weapon.”

Video Coverage of the Incident >>>

  • Honor_max50


    over 4 years ago


    A little holiday stress gone out of control. Its bad enough that the streets are covered with ice and snow, now you have close to a hundred people throwing objects across the streets and at moving vehicles. In VA that is a felony in itself. If you throw an object at a movign vehicle, regardless what that object is, it is a felony. I am not sure if that is the case in DC. Also you have a whole bunch of pepole impeding the flow of already dangerous traffic flow. I don not agree that he should have drawn his weapon, but I also do not think that this was a case of an "innocent" snowball fight. Most pepole in the crowd appear to be adults, lets start acting like it. I would hae charged every person that I could have for throwing objects at moving vehicles. I never would have pulled my weapon though. Good luck Detective, the video doesn't look good.

  • John_groh_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Five hours ago I said, " This is going to get ugly". I was right !

  • Copy_of_marine_photo_edited_edited_max50


    over 4 years ago


    As far as the police officer was concerned I understand not wanting people throwing things at your car, but it would have been better served if he had shown his badge and identified himself and asked the crowd not to throw snowballs at passing vehicles, which would have been appropriate.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Looks like assault with a snowball to me. How do you know they don't have a rock in them? How about inducing a riot? Looks like a few violations to me. Or the fact that he did point his gun at anyone and then puts it away? I guess all of these things don't matter.

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 4 years ago


    OMG! Look at all these people having fun! There are women, children, and men, and a collage of different races all having FUN together! How often do you get to see that!

  • Quickley-b240_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I am not going to take sides here, I have watched the youtube videos that others have posted and didn't see him point his weapon at anyone, that being said I think he overreacted, he should have driven to a clear area and called it in. What they were doing is against the law. Fun as it may have been for them, they were still breaking the law.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    I think that police officers are under to much stress and needs to take more around the clock vacations. Because they do not know how to have fun anymore or do they have the common sense of reconizing fun when they see it. Nothing is funny anymore every thing is so serious sll the time.
    Lighten up, go on a date, get laid once in awhile, have a beer, dance some time, through snowballs with your kids, go out to a family dinner some times, Lighten up. Thank you

  • 2772377750_max50


    over 4 years ago


    It was a damn snowball fight! What is wrong with you people!!!! That "cop" should be fired and never given a badge!!! This egotistical idiot went beyond good and fair judgement, beyond his training and became a vigilante!!! FOR NO REASON!!! Who among hasn't done the same as these twenty people in times past? You're lying if you don't admit it!!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    There were 20 plus disorderly people, causing traffic disruption, the officer had a duty to act. Further more, that many people against one, the gun was justified. Everyone there that rufused to leave and/or that was yelling should have´╗┐ been arrested and taken to jail for DC. The man that threw the snowball at him once he got out of the car, should have been charged with assault on a peace officer.

  • Oct_1__2008_8_pm_155_max50


    over 4 years ago


    There is no judgement to withhold. It's snowballs for crying out loud. Face it folks. We all have idiots like this on every department. What these egomaniac fools do is put us all into increased danger and inject us into bad situations. The detective needs a vacation. He never pointed his gun at anyone, true, but to the public, it just doesn't matter. So he got taunted. I get taunted, we all get taunted by idiots. It's in those exact situations that I want people who can maintain their cool and composure. Some officers are just so full of themselves.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago



    Do you honestly think Baylor, being a detective, would deny to his superiors that he pulled a gun, when he admitted ON camera there at the scene that said accusations were true? Watch some of the other videos, you will see people almost getting hit by cars, hails of snowballs being thrown while cars are driving past, and all types of crap. What bothers me is that the D.C. P.D. did not know this snow-ball fight was even going on until this happened.

    I'm 24 but I swear everyone my age thinks every-other person uses twitter, I sure as heck don't. People have other things to do than check twitter all the time.

  • Gun_control_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I'm sorry to hear that
    Hey LordEnki. In my younger days. we had snowball fights but some clown had to turn the ball into a projectile and my friend lost his sight in one eye. So don't go making funnies. I say always be ready and you won't be surprised. That's how you save lives by putting in practice all that you've learned in tacticl training and theorum. Better always to be ready for possible contentious confrontations and real surprises causes people to wind up dead!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    The thing that bothers me is that the department alledgedly "initially denied any weapon had been displayed until video footage and witnesses indicated otherwise." This would indicate that when superiors asked the plain clothes officer if he drew his weapon he indicated "No, not me, I didn't pull my sidearm" and it wasn't until the video surfaced that the "truth" became known and the department had to reverse their position. At first blush it would appear that the plain clothes officer had either a problem with his memory or a problem with the truth. Both can be detrimental in police work. Some serious information missing here so judgement should be withheld until the investigation is completed

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    That is a link to a more clear video. This is being completely blown up by the media, and some of the people that were there. I have watched other videos and you can clearly see that the snow-ball-throwing citizens are NOT on one side of the street. They are on opposing sides of the street that run parallel with each-other. So in result they are throwing snowballs ACROSS traffic.

    In the video link I posted, you can clearly see that the detective hopped out of his vehicle, drew his gun, had the gun pointing at the ground, whipped out his radio, and then proceeded to call for back-up.

    Here you can clearly see some Einstein almost got hit by a car trying to drive-down the street because he wasn't paying attention due to the snow-ball fight. The officer may have overreacted, however, it is clear that the civilians were not thinking about "safety" in this situation. People can pack rocks and all types of stuff inside of snowballs, and when throwing them at each-other in four different directions at an intersection, things could possibly get a little crazy.

    All in all, the gathering had its harmless fun intentions none the less, but the Detective Baylor should not be crucified over this one. I mean the first-responding uniformed officer hops out of his car, gun drawn, pointing it at the ground, and almost immediately identifies Mr. Baylor as a cop. I'm sure he had radioed something in.

  • P1010076_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Wow, nice find, mmarchesi! Unedited, shows the beginning, and doesn't have the volume cut out.
    What a mouth on these kids lol. Honestly though, if I threw a snowball at a person's face with a gun out, I'd assume I would get shot, not roll over laughing.

    I'll repost this, and hopefully other people will too.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

KCecala gave a thumbs up to The Post "What has happened to my Police Link?", 1 minute ago.
Jonas gave a thumbs down to The Article "Police question 2 men in connection with Philadelphia car...", 2 minutes ago.
MarlyB posted in: "3 Word Response", 8 minutes ago.
kimtsyuu submitted the article: "Watch AS Roma vs Real Madrid Live", 11 minutes ago.